Rafael Nadal said he must fully recover from a nagging knee problem known as Hoffa’s syndrome before returning to competition and was doubtful of his participation in next month’s Davis Cup semifinal against the United States.
Spain’s world No 3 has not played since suffering a shock second-round Wimbledon defeat by lowly ranked Czech Lukas Rosol in June. He missed the Olympic Games and on Wednesday he withdrew from the US Open.
“The important thing is to recover well and come back when my knee is a hundred percent perfect,” Nadal said.
“We’ll see if I will be ready for Gijon, for the Davis Cup. My goal, my dream is to be there if the captain has confidence in me, but it always depends on the captain and the knee.”
Due to his aggressive style of play, Nadal has suffered a string of physical problems during his career, including a foot injury in 2005 and more recently with his knees.
He pulled out of the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup with tendinitis, and a year later the same complaint led to him missing the chance to defend his title at Wimbledon.